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Archive for January, 2016

I was raised to work. It didn’t matter if I was helping my grandfather in a chicken house, picking beans, mowing the yard or doing my homework. I was raised to work. I didn’t always like it, but there were no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. If you saw an adult working you had one option: work. You were to jump in and help no matter what they were doing and if they didn’t want you to help, they’d let you know.

That’s not the case today. I just read this article: 3 Reasons Millennials Are Getting Fired

http://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/3-reasons-millennials-are-getting-fired.html?utm_source=ThomRainer.com&utm_campaign=79028610c9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_TEDS&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_10c78481d1-79028610c9-81457525

1. Employers don’t want to be parents.

Growing up, Millennials were coached their entire lives and they unknowingly assume their employer will too. However, the relationship isn’t the same. An employer pays us to do a job. DO YOUR JOB!

2. The anti-work attitude isn’t appreciated (or tolerated).

A great way to look at how some employers feel is the way the dysfunctional phone/cable companies work. It’s annoying when they announce they can come out only on a certain day. They can’t tell you what time, and then they say they’ll call the day of and give you a four-hour window when they’ll arrive. While the phone/cable companies have us trapped, employers don’t feel the same about Millennials. They’ll fire the Millennial worker and find someone who can work when they need them to–and without the attitude.

3. Millennials’ happiness isn’t the employer’s responsibility.

Millennials are pretty vocal about wanting work to be a “fun” place to go. Besides career development, they also desire lots of cool perks and benefits to make their job feel more rewarding. Besides nice work spaces, amenities like gym memberships, healthy meals on-site, in-house parties, etc., are being used in an effort to attract and maintain Millennial workers. Unfortunately, this is backfiring on employers–and that makes them angry. In spite of all the perks to keep them happy, Millennials are getting to these jobs and quickly showing visible signs of disappointment and dissatisfaction within months of joining the company.

I thought this was a great tip in the article: “In the early days and weeks of a new job, Millennials can make up for what they lack in skills by being consistently on time. When an employer sees their commitment to their work, they will earn her trust and respect, resulting in her being comfortable with their taking time off, and even providing them with a more flexible work schedule. When Millennials prove they can deliver on their company’s terms, their company will give them more of what they want.”

Doesn’t that make sense? It does to me. The entire article could be boiled down to two words: WORK HARD. Come on people, how hard is that? Is it wrong to give your best just because it’s the right thing to do? Do you have to incentivize everything just so people will do what they’re getting paid to do?

Why don’t people want to work? Could it be that they’ve not been trained to work as children? Could it be that we do the stuff for them that they could be doing for themselves? I mean, come on folks, your kid knows how to upload a photo to Instagram and you don’t know how to do either one and you mean to tell me they can’t learn how to wash a load of towels or unload the dishwasher? Are you kidding me? They can program your TV to replay a movie you’ve been wanting to see, but they can’t learn to cut up some lettuce tomatoes and carrots and make a salad? Are they incapable of learning how to set the table for a meal? Surely not!

The truth is: We don’t expect them to! Truly, our children will rise to the level of our expectations. Period. End of sentence. Why don’t we expect more? Honestly, we are hurting them in the long run when we do everything for them.

Think of it this way. If your home were a profit center at your place of work, what kind of return on investment (ROI) are you getting from your child? Are they a blessing in your home? Do they see their home as a place to chill or a place to help in the family economy.

Yes, I know I’m accused of talking about the past too much. I know that rings as hollow after a while, but there is something to be said for what our ancestors in this country gave to us. They built their own houses, worked on farms, made their own furniture and clothes, slopped the hogs, milked the cows, plowed the north 40 and the children were expected to be part of that economy.

What is it like in your house? Are you raising a child that can be a productive employee one day? Can they fold clothes? Can they load the dishwasher? Can they take a bath without being bribed? Is an allowance required before they’ll do anything to help you? Do you owe them all the benefits and amenities of your efforts and work and expect nothing in return? If you are, then you are actually preparing your child for failure.

Am I saying to treat your child like a “work-hand” on a ranch? No way! I’m saying, we should have expectations for our children that equate with Christians principles. We should expect them to be helpful, resourceful, respectful and diligent. Read the book of Proverbs and you’ll see what I mean.

Have you see this?

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Honestly, if I think about it too long, it just makes me really, really mad. So, I’ll move on!

I’m so thankful to have these two back.

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They made it back from a marathon 72 hours of traveling from China. The snow storm really threw the airports for a loop. We’ve got four more ladies trying to get back too. They ended up having to drive from NY back home. Last I heard, they should be home around supper time tonight.

While Pam and Kan were gone, my mom had us up for dinner one night. It’s a treat to see mom and dad with their great-granddaughter.

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Isn’t it great when it snows? Thinks slow down and you get to hang out with family! Like playing “Just Dance” on the Wii.

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Or, of course, sledding down the hill behind our house.

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Check out the ride:

Clara, Andrew and I love walking down to the creek below our house when it snows.

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It’s so pretty down there when it snows.

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Here’s this week’s Two-Minute Tuesday: “Who Will Evangelicals Vote For In Iowa?”

Oh…in case you are looking at the forecast for the weekend and early next week and think that winter might be over. Wrong! Yes, it’s going to hit 60 degrees by this weekend, but do you remember December? We hit 70 on Christmas day and I told you the pattern would flip. I also told you that weather patterns tend to repeat themselves (particularly in winter). Well, I believe we’ll see another flip in the weather by mid-Feb. So, if you are a snow lover, don’t give up on winter until after the NCAA basketball tournament is in its second weekend (mid-March). 🙂

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Guys, (and yes, I’m speaking to the males reading this), it’s time we step up. The ladies have been pulling the load for far too long and it bothers me.

Men, we get so jacked up about so many things. Sports, hunting, video games, Fantasy Football, working out, food.

Jersey City, New Jersey, USA --- Jersey City, New Jersey, Man watching tv in living room --- Image by © Tetra Images/Corbis

Earlier this week I read a great blog post from John Piper and I want to share a good chunk of it here. I pray that men will read this and step up (and that includes this bald-headed fella!).

But what about leading our homes? That seems to take a back burner. I see this more and more and more. Men becoming disengaged to the point that all they do is bring home a paycheck and little else. This is a tragedy even in the church.

From: “What Does It Mean For a Man to Lead His Family Spiritually?” Full article here: http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/271926-what-does-it-mean-for-a-man-to-lead-his-family-spiritually.html?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRojsqTBZKXonjHpfsX67OwtWqCyhokz2EFye%2BLIHETpodcMSsBnM6%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7DEJM1u2dkQXhXh

The point is: She ought not to have to feel that she is constantly doing the initiating, prodding to get this man to talk about things that need to be talked about, plan things that need to be planned, do things that need to be done. So here are some of the kind of things where I think a husband should be taking active initiative:

What is the overall moral vision of the family? He should take initiative, asking that question and pursuing an answer with his wife at his side. What do we believe about God and the world and family and culture? All families stand for something. All families are known for something. All families are called to glorify God according to their gifts. What does that look like? And that is the man’s responsibility. Pursue that. Figure that out. A man feels responsibility to take initiatives to form and carry through that moral vision of the family and, of course, he is doing it through the constant interaction with his wife. She would not be thrilled to be left out of that formulation, but I think most Christian women are thrilled that the husband is taking the initiative and drawing her in to see to it that they have such a moral vision for the family.

And this would include initiatives like: Let’s clarify the expectations we have for our children and how they will be disciplined and then how my leadership will relate to the discipline and your leadership as the mother will relate to their discipline and how they are going to spend their leisure and so on. It includes things like taking initiatives in deciding on where the family goes to church and how they participate and whether they get there or not. It includes things like ministries, what the family is doing in ministry, and how they are involved together in the neighborhood and missions. It includes things like taking initiatives with lifestyle issues for the family, like what are we going to do with social media and television and entertainment and leisure and sports and vacations.

Every family has to make hundreds and hundreds of decisions about these things, and one of the things that depresses a wife is when a lackadaisical husband never thinks about what needs to be done and has to be constantly prodded to figure things out. She wants, of course, to have input. She has probably got more insight on a lot of these things than he does. But she wants him to take initiative. We need to think about these things. He needs to say: Let’s sit down. Let’s talk. Let’s pray. She wants him to do that.

It includes things like finances and how the family spends its money and what they are going to save for and what kind of insurance they are going to have and retirement plans and pensions and the whole financial vision of the family, including how much they give to the church and all these things. The husband should feel a special responsibility to take initiatives to work it out with his wife constantly being drawn into that initiative. She is going to have superior wisdom on many of these things, but she longs for a husband to take initiative to put the process in motion by which these things can be worked out and problems can be solved and plans can be made.

Finally, perhaps most important: Yes, the husband should feel a special responsibility to lead the family in a pattern of prayer and Bible reading and worship. And here again the issue is not competency. He may have an eighth grade education and his wife may have a college degree. He can still take initiatives to see that the family is a prayer-saturated, Bible-saturated family by working it out with his wife, how she uses her gifts which may exceed his own in Bible reading and Bible explaining.

So I hope those few examples give a taste of what it means for a husband and a wife to model Christ and the church for a very needy world who needs badly to see it.

Father playing with daughters

Hey would you mind praying we can get our ladies from Charlotte on Saturday. With the weather forecast calling for a monster storm heading our way, it’s causing me some concern about them even being able to get home. As many of you know, Pam and Kandace are part of a group from our church in China. They’ve been there for two weeks and will be flying back later this week. They are to fly to Vancouver, Canada and then to New York (early Saturday morning). They are then supposed to land in Charlotte at 11:21 am on Saturday. Folks, that’s going to be really, really dicey if the weather forecast verifies. Pray that we can get them. I love you all!

Kevin

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It’s up to $1.5 BILLION!!

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Got your lottery ticket yet?

Not me.

I won’t be buying any. In fact, I don’t want any. (Someone gave me a lottery ticket one time, and after I got home I tore it up and threw it away.) Why? Because I do not want to be lured into anything that could be detrimental to others. Truly, the lottery is killing a lot of poor families. There are folks who buy lottery tickets (because they are addicted to gambling) versus food for their family. That’s so sad.

Somebody asked me the other day, “Pastor, what if someone won the lottery and wanted to pay off the building debt with their tithe?” I said, “I would politely say, ‘No thanks.'” Why? Because in my heart and mind, that’s money that was won by gambling. The person then asked, “Preacher, don’t you think people put ‘dirty money’ in the offering plate every week?” I said, “Yes…but I don’t know that it’s ‘dirty money.’ With the scenario you just described, I’d know about it.” Now, that’s a personal preference and I can’t be dogmatic about it.

In fact, as I said in my “Two-Minute Tuesday” today, I don’t believe buying a lottery ticket is a sin, but I do believe it “feeds the greed” within us and places our trust on man and not God.

According to The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, here are three (3) interesting facts about state lotteries.

  1. In 2014 lotteries took in $70.1 billion in sales. That’s more than Americans in every state spent on books, recorded music, video games, and tickets to sporting events and movies.
  2. In five states, people spend more than $600 dollars per person per year on lottery tickets: Rhode Island, South Dakota, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Delaware.
  3. The poorest 1/3 of households purchase 1/2 of all lottery tickets.

The Bible is clear:

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Proverbs 10:4

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

1 Timothy 6:17

…nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

As for me…I’m going to store up treasures in heaven where moths and rust won’t destroy and thieves won’t break in and steal. Jesus said, “You can’t serve God and money.” The Bible says: “Godliness with contentment is GREAT gain.” And “If a man doesn’t work…let him not eat.” So, that’s my take on the lottery.

Here’s the video. (You’ll note when I cut the video, which I actually taped on Monday, the jackpot was only $1.3 billion):

When are we going to have a scene like this:

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Well, most of the weather prognosticators thought we would have had some by now. The El Nino was so strong that it overwhelmed December and it’s been slow for the pattern to change. But, it finally flipped last week. We are now firmly in a “Negative” pattern, which is code for COLD. The problem is (as always) getting the moisture synced up with the cold. That’s the hard part. We had plenty of moisture, but no cold air. And now we’ve got the cold air, but the moisture is limited. Will the two come together? Well, that will mean that the northern jet stream  will need to buckle south and provide the cold air at the same time the southern jet stream sends moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Again…it’s all timing.

What I’m seeing is the two weeks we’re going to be close, but probably no cigar (as the old saying goes). We’ll be a bit too warm (even though this weekend might be a closer call than some are now saying). But, I do believe as we move toward the end of the month and into February that we’re finally going to see wintry precipitation. But, here’s the truth. The pattern for the remainder of the winter, (once it sets up), normally persists throughout the rest of the winter. So, whatever happens in the next 3 weeks will tell the tale. Personally, I still believe we’ll see some snow, but the biggest chance looks to be February. Remember it snowed three times last February in the winter I called “Delayed but not Denied” and we could be in for a repeat performance. We’ll see.

Please be in prayer for these lovely ladies…

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That’s (Left to Right), Kristie Cothren, Michele and Julianna Cordray, Lakyn and Melanie Parrish, Jennifer Spencer, Tabitha Garza and Kandace and Pam Brown. 9 strong! And they’re in China right now helping minister to some really, really needy orphans and workers. Please lift the up to the Father, will you? They are living in pretty tough conditions. It got down to almost 40 degrees in their rooms the other night because there was no power. I Facetimed (is that a word?) with Pam and Kan this morning (which was about 9 pm their time…since they are 13 hours ahead) and they were doing well. They were tired and getting ready for bed. The food is kind of rough and the beds are hard as bricks. But, that’s mission work, folks and they’re used to that. But, nonetheless, thanks for the prayers.

How am I doing? Peachy! I’ve got wonderful help. Katy is a fabulous cook and my mom and dad are nearby and I’ve had tons of offers from others (probably many of you reading this). So, thank you, thank you, thank you! And get this! I’ve not even had to fix country ham and scrambled eggs yet (my specialty). 🙂

And I have a wonderful ministry assistant…

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My love to you all!

Kevin

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I’ve been thinking about the New Year and my family and my life and the goals I have for the coming year and that certainly includes the church (Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church). I bet you’ve probably been thinking about the new year and things you’d like to see happen in the new year as well.

As I’ve thought about these things, my mind has been hovering around thoughts of the church. Not just the church I help to lead, but “the” Church (big “C”) of Jesus Christ in America today. The truth is. The Church is in trouble. Big-time. Churches are falling apart right and left.

I heard of another church, (just today as a matter of fact), that is going through very difficult times. It broke my heart! I had tears in my eyes as I learned of the trouble. How does this sort of thing happen and how do we keep it from happening?

Well, my experience (as an outsider looking in…because I’m fortunate that I’ve never experienced a church split) is that churches who go through church splits often have people who have taken their eyes off of Jesus and His agenda and started focusing on their on desires and agendas. Honestly, all of this can really be boiled down to one word: Selfishness. It becomes a “my way or the highway” sort of deal. And it’s so, so sad. And I know it breaks the heart of Jesus. After all, He died for the Church!

Folks, we MUST REMEMBER WHO THE ENEMY IS. Who is the enemy? Satan! Satan is the enemy…not your fellow members or leadership. Once a church forgets that and the gloves come off, it gets really messy and nasty in a hurry. And I honestly don’t know of anything more gut-wrenching than a church split. It will define that church to the community for the next generation. It will be said in the community, “Oh yeah…that’s the church that couldn’t agree and get along and split in so and so ____insert the year.”

How do we prevent this? Honestly, leadership has to stay sober and vigilant and watchful for issues and problems. Deacons have to be white blood cells and help to kill the cancer cells of any divisiveness they know of and people must be willing to swallow hard and follow their leadership (unless it’s heretical or off base spiritually or doctrinally). Oh and did I say the key is prayer? Much prayer. Concerted prayer. Fervent prayer. Daily prayer.

Bottom line: Being part of a church is like being part of a family. None of us always get our way all of the time. Think about your own family if you doubt that. How often are there disagreements that have to be worked through in your home? Many times, right? Yep…mine too! So, diligence in the Word and prayer are the keys.

Can I ask you to do us pastors a favor? Well…maybe you could give us three minutes and watch this short video. I PROMISE you, if you watch it…you’ll be laughing your head off in the first 10 seconds. See if you agree:

https://skitguys.com/videos/item/the-pastors-chair

Seriously, there are some pretty cool things that happen along the way when the Lord is at work. I got this email last week…

Pastor Kevin, I wanted to say how thankful we are that God pointed us in the way of you and your family and MPBC. It has literally changed our lives. And to think we are almost 2 year members and working in the church. Praise the Lord!

How cool is that!! And this…

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That scene (above) will never happen in a nursery. The is mimicking worship and that’s why children are welcome and yes, “allowed” in our services. (Truly, my family and I went to a church years ago on a trip where we were told that children “aren’t allowed” in the service and that “We have a place for them.”)

Here’s a few granddaughter pictures of late… Eating raisins together…

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Reading the Bible together…

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Folks, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Here’s one of the latest forecasts for January through March from the Atmospheric and Environmental Research group. One word: COLD

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Here’s today’s latest Two-Minute Tuesday- “God and America.” You might learn something about the history of our nation that will surprise you. I hope you enjoy:

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